The Expanding Universe of Kacey Musgraves - The New York Times

Musgraves created “Star-Crossed” for one person – “I make the albums for myself,” she said – but now that it’s done, the sales work, and ...


Musgraves created “Star-Crossed” for one person – “I make the albums for myself,” she said – but now that it’s done, the sales work, and herself, begins. The music might not be much bigger, but the marketing budget seems better. There’s the companion film “Star-Crossed”, for which she recruited “RuPaul’s Drag Race” champion Symone, the TikToker. @averagefashionblogger and Eugène Lévy. She sells Musgraves brand self-adhesive tears and lacy handkerchiefs to prepare her fans for the season she calls “sad girls’ fall.” Recently she started an ambivalent TikTok account tagged with a self-deprecating “Mean Girls” line: “she doesn’t even go here.” In his first post, Musgraves walks in slow motion and smiles winningly before covering the camera lens with one hand. The caption: “the moment no one expected.”

Osborne, who has known Musgraves since they were both “broken ramen noodles,” said that despite all the industry scaffolding that has been built around her friend, Musgraves herself seems unchanged. “I forget all the time that Kacey is really famous until we go out and someone gets weird,” he said. I asked him what he knew about her that the audience didn’t know, and he was eager to counter a perception he had seen floating around Twitter that she might be distant or cold.

First of all, “If a guy acted this way, he would be considered cool and mysterious,” he said. Second, he knows that Musgraves is a staunch friend, but also allergic to pretense. She just doesn’t have “pert pop star fashion” on her emotional dial. “I’ve never, ever seen Kacey pretend to feel something she doesn’t feel,” he said. “She wears her heart on her sleeve.”

Lately, Musgraves’ Instagram feed has lit up with cozy images of a new boyfriend, Cole Schafer, a poet who writes under the name January Black. They met when they spied on each other in a crowded restaurant. “He didn’t know who I was, what I liked,” Musgraves said. The paparazzi, however, recognize her more and more. “A handful of grown men come out and they sweat trying to follow you down the sidewalk,” she said. “It’s very predatory.” Musgraves is always striving to become a bigger star without feeling like he is the center of the universe. “Sometimes I’m a little overwhelmed with the self-centeredness of being an artist,” she said softly. “It’s just like me me me me me.”

It’s only in the last few years that Musgraves has acquired a form of performance anxiety, a mild panic that arises when attention is unexpectedly drawn to her. It first materialized in 2019, when she was filming her celebrity-studded Christmas special, and she was spontaneously asked to step in front of the camera and gift her favorite holiday souvenir.

“I couldn’t answer what should be the easiest question in the world,” she said. “I couldn’t say anything. My heart was pounding. I started sweat. “Sometimes when she’s asleep she has that stressful dream, where she’s summoned to a distant stage, and she never seems to be able to get there in time.” And I’m like, ”- she swears in frustration -“ they call my name! “

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